Thursday, December 19, 2013

The O'Jays: Christmas Ain't Christmas

For our Thursday Repeats and Threepeats, we provide a song that was issued five separate times: The O’Jays’ “Christmas Ain’t Christmas New Years Ain’t New Years Without the One You Love.” Like many Christmas songs, it failed to chart during any its five releases. Written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, this holiday classic by The O’Jays was issued on three separate labels owned by composition/production duo.

In 1969, the single appeared on Neptune Records #20 paired with “There's Someone (Waiting Back Home)” on N-20. During the following year, it appeared on Neptune N-33 backed with “Just Can't Get Enough.”

By 1973, the same configuration appeared on Philadelphia International Records #ZS7 3537. This was repeated on Philadelphia International #ZS8 3581 in 1975 and in 1980 on TSOP Records as #ZS8 3771.

In 1975, Philadelphia International was rebranded as TSOP. This was largely due to the success of the #1 instrumental hit TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) by MFSB in 1974. In addition, Philadelphia International was involved in a payola scheme in 1975, so rebranding also helped distance the label from its legal troubles.

Produced by Gamble and Huff, “Christmas Ain’t Christmas” was arranged by veteran Philadelphia musician Thom Bell. It is an example of the Philly Sound made popular by Gamble and Huff’s stable of artists.

No comments:

Post a Comment